The Postman

Published by BC Labour Heritage Centre on

“The Postman”, is a 16-foot tall carved granite bas relief by Vancouver sculptor Paul Huba. It was designed, modelled and fired inside the original Georgia Street lobby of the main Post Office in Vancouver. Originally installed in 1956 adjacent to the Homer Street entrance, it was removed for construction and re-installed at the corner of Georgia and Hamilton in 2023.  The cornerstone on which it sits was installed in 1955.

The first Dominion Postal Clerks Association was formed in Vancouver in 1911. During the Winnipeg General Strike, the Association was on the front lines with the letter carriers resulting in 700 postal workers losing their jobs. The Canadian Postal Employees Association (CPEA) was formed in 1931, and in 1944 joined with the letter carriers and railway mail clerks to form the Postal Workers Brotherhood. In 1965 the Postal Clerks’ Union, with 10,500 members, adopted the now-familiar name of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). The introduction of mechanization to postal work translated into massive job losses for the clerks and resulted in a decade of strikes and boycotts in the 1970s and 1980s. A 42-day strike in 1981 won groundbreaking maternity leave benefits. The Letter Carriers’ Union merged with CUPW in 1989. 1

Members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers walk the line outside the main post office in Vancouver on the second day of their 1975 national strike, launched in response to federal government’s insistence that postal workers would have to be the first to conform to new wage controls under development in Ottawa. MSC160-162_11A, Sean Griffin photo, Pacific Tribune Photo Collection, Simon Fraser University.

Between 1972 and 1976, the union spearheaded a national campaign to boycott the postal code after massive job losses from mechanization.

The Postman

by Sadhu Binning

  1. A Chronology of Canadian Postal History,[]